We have seen most home and handheld consoles getting getting serious makeovers years after their initial launch. Sometimes such redesigns look awesome, while other things sometimes go in the opposite direction.
The latest addition to the long list of redesigns is the Xbox One S, which was launched a couple of weeks ago. On the other hand, a slimmer version of PlayStation 4 has also been confirmed and is set to release very soon.
We think this is the best time to talk about some of the console redesigns which were very successful, and some others which were not. Here’s the list below (Thanks, Kotaku).
The Successful Ones
NES Top Loader
NES Top Loader came into play when there was a tough competition between Nintendo and SEGA consoles. It was released in 1993 with a price tag of $49.95 along with the tagline ‘Evolve or Become Extinct!’
The NES Top Loader was pretty smaller and largely sleeker than the original Nintendo Entertainment System which was very bulky. The redesigned console also fixed the long running cartridge loading problem of its predecessor. The NES Top Loader went on to become one of the most successful consoles with lot of legendary gaming titles being released under it.
Game Boy Advance SP
The Game Boy Advance SP is the first Game Boy to be released worldwide which had a built-in backlight. Prior to that, players had to stick various add-ons to light Game Boy screens. The handheld console was release in 2003 at $99.99 with the tagline ‘ Who Are You?’
Nintendo did very well in designing the Game Boy Advance SP and added in most of the features that fans asked for. The beautiful clam shell design of the handheld console and the feature to allow the players to play any game in the Game Boy library are two simple examples of it.
Nintendo DS Lite
Nintendo DS was launched in 2004 and it took only two years for Nintendo to re-introduce it as Nintendo DS Lite. Nintendo DS is still regarded as one of the worst looking handheld consoles of all time.
Nintendo DS Lite, however, had opposite reactions. This classy looking handheld console was released in 2006 at a price of $129.99 with the tagline ‘Touching is Good.’ We will all agree that the Nintendo DS Lite was the saving grace of the DS family back then. Most of changes DS Lite had were about its physical appearance, along with some improvements in battery life, brightness settings and an enhanced color display. Although the changes were minimal, Nintendo DS Lite is still regarded as one of the best handheld consoles ever.
PlayStation 3 Slim
PlayStation 3 Slim was launched in 2009 at a comparatively cheaper price of $299.99 with the tagline ‘Lighter, Thinner and Powerful.’ The original PlayStation 3, which was released in 2006, raised the eyebrows of fans when it was launched at a price of $600. However, the PlayStation 3 Slim version addressed several grievances of the console’s fans.
PlayStation 3 Slim came with more memory, a slimmer size and a cheaper price. The redesigned console also was energy efficient and had a quieter cooling system than its predecessor. PlayStation 3 Slim can be considered to be the main turning point behind the massive success of the PlayStation 3 series of consoles.
Xbox One S
The latest addition to this list is obviously the dashing Xbox One S. The all new sleeker and slimmer Xbox One console was released in August this year at a price of $299.99. As the tagline says, ‘Sleeker. Slimmer. Sharper.’ Xbox One S indeed ticks all three boxes.
After being heavily criticized for making Xbox One too bulky, Microsoft has everything right this time. Xbox One S is around 40% smaller than the original Xbox, and it’s even more powerful. It brings in features like 4K ultra HD and high dynamic range to the console. Xbox One S is definitely now the best looking and most powerful console on the market. The best part, however, is that there isn’t an increase in the price.
The Unsuccessful Ones
Sega Genesis 3
Sega Genesis 3 was launched in 1998 at a price of $49.95, when most of the fans were waiting for the Dreamcast, which was regarded as the next powerhouse console. Therefore, Sega had to depute the work of manufacturing the Genesis 3 console to gaming manufacturer Majesco, and the result was horrible.
Sega Genesis 3 is now among the worst redesigns in the console history. The console didn’t allow players to play most of the Japanese Megadrive titles, which angered the fans. To add to that, the console couldn’t boot up several previously released games due to its low processing ability. The console didn’t even support various add-ons like the previous versions did.
PSP Go is the third redesign of the PlayStation Portable handheld console. PSP Go was released back in 2009 at $249.99 with the catchy tagline ‘It’s Go Time.’ The console was released when the standard PSP model was still on the market.
Sony’s target with PSP Go was the audience who could always stay connected to the online world. Players could only buy their games for the PSP Go online, which was a big drawback. The sale of physical game copies are always higher than the digital sales in the gaming industry.
Nintendo DSi was Nintendo’s version of the PSP Go. The console was launched in 2009 at a price of $169.99 with the tagline ‘i Decide’. Nintendo DSi offered players the feature of downloading games online instead of buying physically, which was the drawback just like PSP Go.
Most of the players thought that Nintendo had taken a step back with the launch of this console. Its successor, DS Lite, on the other hand, was a massive success. Nintendo DSi lost features like Game Boy Advance’s backwards compatibility, and even its battery life was reduced drastically. These were mainly the reasons why the Nintendi DSi failed to capitalize.
Wii Mini was released in 2013 for a comparatively cheaper price of $99.99. The tagline ‘Big Fun. Mini Price’ was only half delivered by Nintendo. The console, which was initially announced as a Canadian exclusive, failed big time.
However, we cannot put all of the blame on Wii Mini as even the original Wii wasn’t a very successful console when compared to its competitors PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. One of the major drawbacks of Wii Mini was not having the internet access facilities at all. To add to this, Wii Mini was bundled with the Wii’s most famous online game, Mario Kart Wii. Call it a irony, Wii Mini is one of the most unsuccessful consoles ever.
This list is prepared entirely from the author’s viewpoint and it doesn’t mean that everyone should agree to it. Every gamer might have faced problems with one particular console and loved another in return. That’s common. If you have any objections regarding this list please let us know. Any additions on both the sections of the consoles would be welcome.